General Information

The Degree program starts Autumn Quarter and runs for 7 consecutive quarters, including summer. The program culminates with a Capstone Course in the Spring where we discuss strategy, business, and marketing for successful drug development. For example, if you start Autumn 2023, you will finish in Spring 2025.

The Certificate program also starts Autumn Quarter and runs for 4 consecutive quarters alongside the degree students. Students who switch from certificate to degree will be able to complete their degree with an additional 5 quarters: 4 quarters from the certificate, and 5 quarters for the degree for a total of 9 quarters. Certificate to degree students will finish Autumn Quarter 2 years after they start. For example, if you start in Autumn 2023, you are a certificate through Spring of 2024, then a degree student from Summer 2024- through Autumn 2025 with Summer 2025 off.

The PHARBE Program follows the UW graduate school calendar with 10 weeks of instruction per quarter. Exams are completed within the quarter. Finals week does not apply to Graduate Courses. Core courses have one live lecture (synchronous) for two hours from 5:30-7:30pm PST and one pre-recorded lecture (asynchronous) each week. All lectures are recorded and available to students during the quarter. Live or synchronous classes are typically held on Thursday evenings, but certain quarters may have live lectures held on Tuesday evenings. Seminars which meet once a week are 1-2 hours in duration and often have an asynchronous option.


  • B.S degree or equivalent in a relevant science (field/research), public health (biomedical related) or engineering (field/research) related, or
  • Have a B.S. degree or equivalent in unrelated field (ex. Business) and 2 years of experience working within a scientific or engineering group for a biotechnology or pharmaceutical company or related industry.
  • Clinical degrees are considered.
  • Students who have a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 90 quarter credit hours (60 semester credit hours) and meet prerequisite requirements.
  • Students who have a BA/BS degree with under a 3.0 GPA and have 2 years work experience may be approved for GNM status for Basic Biosciences. Students who receive a 3.0 or above in their Basic Biosciences courses and apply for the degree program while under GNM status are considered for degree admissions.
  • Applicants who have a bachelor’s degree other than a B.S. (ex. B.A. degrees), professional experience, and completed recommended prerequisite course work will also be considered for admission.


  • Professional experience
  • Previous degrees earned or most recent/undergraduate GPA
    Basic Biosciences courses GPA (if applicable)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of intent
  • GRE test scores.

Please note that admission to the degree program is not guaranteed, even if you choose to take the Pharmaceutical Bioengineering Certificate prior to applying to the Master’s program.


** Applicants should complete the prerequisite courses with a 2.0 or greater before applying to the degree program. Students whose undergraduate degree majors are in engineering, biology, chemistry, or pharmacy are exempt from the prerequisite course requirement except for college statistics.

  • Calculus: Minimum of 1 quarter (or 1 semester) of college calculus
  • Chemistry: Minimum of 2 quarters (1 semester) of college general chemistry.
  • Additional course in organic chemistry is recommended.
  • Biology: Minimum of 1 quarter (semester) of general biology
  • Physics: 1 quarter (Physics 114)
  • Statistics: Minimum of 1 quarter (or 1 semester) of college statistics

The requirements to earn the Master of Pharmaceutical Bioengineering can be completed in approximately 1 and ¾ to 2 years.

Program requires completion of 39 credit hours within the program and with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.  Each course must achieve a 2.7 GPA or better to be counted in the courses toward the degree.

The PharBE program is a non-thesis program.

39 total course credits (including four credits of Department Seminars, taken Winter and Spring Quarter only and two credits of PharBE seminar) are required to earn the degree.

The biggest difference you will see in registering for courses as a degree student is that the registration form we send out is different, showing all degree courses offered every quarter, instead of just the certificate courses. Also, degree students have to pay some additional student fees that certificate students are exempt from paying (although you do get to take advantage of the extra campus services supported by those fees).
Otherwise, the process is the same. Use the degree registration form to register through the UWPCE registration office via phone, mail or in-person (sorry, we still don’t have on-line registration yet).

The Master of Pharmaceutical Bioengineering program fees are charged on a quarterly basis.
For 2023-2024, following is a cost breakdown for the Master of Pharmaceutical Bioengineering program:

  • Tuition: $908 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Refundable Quarterly Registration Fee: $55
  • Quarterly student fees for 4-7 credits ($298 – $434)

Yes, PharBE does qualify for financial aid. Student must take at least 5 credits in a quarter to be eligible. If additional credits are needed to have 5 credits during the program, please contact the Graduate Academic Counselor.

If you are using financial aid to pay for tuition, you will need to fill out and return a PCE Payment Agreement form when you register each quarter. This form will be emailed to your UW email account along with your registration materials each quarter. Disbursement of financial aid funds from the University Student Accounts Office to PCE occurs approximately two weeks before the quarter starts. If your total tuition and fees are greater than your financial aid award or if you register after disbursement occurs, you will be invoiced for any tuition and fees owed. When aid is disbursed, you are responsible for paying your tuition invoice with the PCE registration office.

If you are receiving aid from The Child Welfare Training and Advancement Program (CWTAP), you will fill out a PCE payment agreement form as mentioned above, but the CWTAP funds will be dispensed directly to you. You are then responsible for paying your tuition statement with us. If you have any questions about this program, please contact their office directly.

The Graduate School’s Office of Fellowships & Awards is a resource for students seeking information about fellowships, awards, and assistantships. The Graduate Funding Information Service assists UW graduate students in their search for funding opportunities for graduate school-related expenses. GFIS representatives host workshops, post funding announcements and meet one-on-one with students.

Some employers will cover all or part of the cost of a professional education. Check with your employer to see if such a program is available.

No, the tuition benefit exemption applies only to state-funded programs. Since fee based degree programs receive no state funds, they are not eligible for the tuition exemption benefit.

As this program is offered entirely online using a distance-learning model. International students may be admitted to the program, but are still not eligible for F-1 visas for travel to and residence in the United States.

PharBE does not qualify as full-time study, and therefore does not meet requirements for an F-1 Visa. However, if you are an F-1 student currently enrolled full-time in another program, OR you are in the U.S. on some other type of visa (not F-1), you may be eligible to take a certificate program or course.

Priority PharBE Degree Admission Deadline: May 10th (annually), 11:59 pm (Pacific Time, USA)

Space-Available PharBE Degree Admission: Sept. 1st (annually), 11:59 pm (Pacific Time, USA)

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

GPA’s of our applicants vary significantly, because more emphasis is placed on professional experience. The UW Graduate School requires that prospective students have earned at least a 3.0 grade-point-average (on a 4 point scale) from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S. or its equivalent from a foreign institution for the last 90 graded quarter credits or 60 graded semester credits from a baccalaureate degree (for a Master’s, doctoral, or professional degree, the total cumulative average may be used). We do consider applicants who don’t meet the GPA requirement, but they must fulfill at least two of the following criteria:

  1. Evidence of successful graduate coursework in the intended field of study or in a closely related field.
  2. Evidence of professional success in a field relevant to the proposed area of study (letter or recommendation from supervisor).
  3. An admissions interview with a PharBE faculty either in-person or via phone/virtual.

The GRE exam is optional.

No, the GRE exam is optional for your application.

Application fee waivers are handled through the Graduate School. You can read more about eligibility on their site here. To apply for the application fee waiver, please submit your application no less than 1 week prior to the deadline, as fee waivers take several days to process. Toward the end of the application, there is a drop down option (or a box you can select) where you can select an “apply for application fee waiver” option.

If you are sending official test scores, they need to be sent electronically, directly from ETS to University code: 4854.

Professor recommendations and professional recommendations are acceptable, as long as you have/had a substantial working relationship with that manager or professor (i.e. you attended multiple office hours and the professor can discuss your work over a length of time in detail).

Graduate Non-matriculated (GNM) is a student status at the University designed to provide access to graduate courses for qualified individuals who are not currently matriculated in a graduate program, but who may later wish to apply to a graduate program. The graduate department in which the student seeks GNM status evaluates the applicants. The department determines whether a student is qualified to do its graduate-level coursework.Please note: Acceptance into the GNM program does not guarantee acceptance into the degree program. If a student wishes to take graduate-level courses but does not plan to apply the credits to a specific graduate degree, then the student should register as Non-matriculated (NM) – not Graduate Non-matriculated (GNM).

For more information about GNM status and non-degree enrollment for UW credit, see the Non-Degree Enrollment website.

New Student GNM Deadline: September 1st (11:59 p.m., Pacific Time USA) For Autumn Quarter start

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

GNM students pay the same course tuition fee, technology fee and UWPCE registration fee as degree students. GNM students do not pay the quarterly “Other Mandatory Fees” or the UPASS fee that the degree students must pay.

By September 15th, via email and MyGrad online application status change

If you are waiting to hear, please check the email account you submitted with your online application and also log back into your application profile.

If you have more questions, come to an Information Session.

These are held monthly during April-July. Or, reach out to our Advisor who can provide more information.